Yemen's epic international scam entered a new act on Saturday as Ali Abdullah Saleh returned home overnight. Having signed the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) proposal under intense pressure from Riyadh and Washington, Saleh now resides as "honorary president" until a presidential election can be held on February 21st. His vice president of 17 years, Abdo Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, is set to assume executive authority in the meantime, and has been reportedly selected as the "consensus" candidate for a two-year term. The prime ministry would go to the opposition.
If this decision stands, Yemenis will play a spectator role in a single candidate election organized under UNSC authority. At least they don't need to worry about ballot stuffing - the election would be fixed outright. Naturally the White House applauded Hadi's announcement through one of its leading diplomats: counter-terrorism chief John Brennan.
"The two agreed on the need to quickly implement the terms of the November 23 political settlement so that the legitimate and richly deserved aspirations of the Yemeni people can be realized."
Saleh's presence in Yemen guarantees a corrupt election (he could easily manipulate it from Riyadh) and his foreign allies remain at his side. Many protesters and observers expect him to rule as he did last week, yet the process of regime continuation "supports Yemen's people" according to the Obama administration. Not only is the U.S.-Saudi scheme politically and morally outrageous - Egypt redux as Egypt itself convulses - U.S. military policy continues to destabilize under the very response chosen to douse Yemen's fire.
Full analysis of Yemen's international crime spree to be posted shortly.